Cardinal Müller’s new book-length interview

Gerhard Ludwig Cardinal Müller, prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, has a forthcoming book-length interview with the Spanish publisher Carlos Granados. For now, the book will be in Spanish, but translations are apparently forthcoming. Sandro Magister has several lengthy excerpts at his website. One passage, translated for Magister by Matthew Sherry, touches upon the reformation festivities forthcoming, no doubt, next year:

Strictly speaking, we Catholics have no reason to celebrate October 31, 1517, the date that is considered the beginning of the Reformation that would lead to the rupture of Western Christianity.

If we are convinced that divine revelation is preserved whole and unchanged through Scripture and Tradition, in the doctrine of the faith, in the sacraments, in the hierarchical constitution of the Church by divine right, founded on the sacrament of holy orders, we cannot accept that there exist sufficient reasons to separate from the Church.

The members of the Protestant ecclesial communities look at this event from a different perspective, because they think that it is the opportune moment to celebrate the rediscovery of the “pure Word of God,” which they presume to have been disfigured throughout history by merely human traditions. The Protestant reformers arrived at the conclusion, five hundred years ago, that some Church hierarchs were not only morally corrupt, but had also distorted the Gospel and, as a result, had blocked the path of salvation for believers toward Jesus Christ. To justify the separation they accused the pope, the presumed head of this system, of being the Antichrist.

How can the ecumenical dialogue with the evangelical communities be carried forward today in a realistic way? The theologian Karl-Heinz Menke is speaking the truth when he asserts that the relativization of the truth and the acritical adoption of modern ideologies are the principal obstacle toward union in the truth.

In this sense, a Protestantization of the Catholic Church on the basis of a secular vision without reference to transcendence not only cannot reconcile us with the Protestants, but also cannot allow an encounter with the mystery of Christ, because in Him we are repositories of a supernatural revelation to which all of us owe total obedience of intellect and will (cf. “Dei Verbum,” 5).

I think that the Catholic principles of ecumenism, as they were proposed and developed by the decree of Vatican Council II, are still entirely valid (cf. “Unitatis Redintegratio,” 2-4). On the other hand, I am convinced that the document of the congregation for the doctrine of the faith “Dominus Iesus,” of the holy year of 2000, not understood by many and unjustly rejected by others, is without a doubt the magna carta against the Christological and ecclesiological relativism of this time of such confusion.

(Emphases added.) Good medicine. And there’s more of it in the post, touching upon some of the other flashpoint issues of the present day. Some sources have already picked up on Cardinal Müller’s comments about the forthcoming celebration of the reformation.

It remains to be seen, of course, what the Holy Father says in Sweden when he attends an ecumenical service commemorating the reformation. However, it seems to us that Cardinal Müller is fundamentally right, not merely that there are not valid reasons for separating from communion with Christ’s Church, though that is certainly true, but also that western Christianity and, indeed, the west as a whole has been injured by the reformation. There has been an impoverishment of western Christianity in the intervening 500 years that was scarcely conceivable with the first protestants struck out very much on their own. And one even wonders whether the complete inversion of man’s relationship to God, which Pope Emeritus Benedict has discussed fairly recently, would have happened in the absence of the wounds in the Body of Christ caused by the reformation. But such speculation is probably not entirely helpful at the moment. So we will say this: we look forward very much to reading Cardinal Müller’s thoughts on these matters.

For our part, we imagine that, on October 31, 1517, we will remember in a special way the souls of those who departed this life outside of full communion with Christ’s Church and his vicar, the Roman Pontiff.

More from Pentin on the Pope’s appointments

Edward Pentin has the second part of his series about the Holy Father’s appointments up today at the National Catholic Register. We were, we confess, a little disappointed with this installment. Here’s a selection:

Within the Roman Curia, the Pope has been lauded for a number of appointments. These include making the accomplished diplomat Cardinal Pietro Parolin secretary of state and choosing Archbishop Paul Gallagher, a respected Holy See diplomat with experience in Burundi and Australia, as his secretary for relations with states. Many of Francis’ most prominent successes have been in diplomacy, helped in no small part by the quality of papal diplomats he has chosen.

But he has also courted controversy, most notably in his decision in 2014 to remove Cardinal Raymond Burke, first from membership of the Congregation for Bishops (where other members were opposed to the cardinal’s insistence that orthodox bishops be appointed) and then as prefect of the Apostolic Signatura. The latter action reportedly was largely due to the U.S. cardinal’s opposition to streamlining the annulment process. 

Prior to Cardinal Burke’s removal, the Pope had already dismissed Cardinal Mauro Piacenza as prefect of the Congregation for Clergy, as well as the congregation’s secretary (deputy), Archbishop Celso Morga Iruzubieta, a well-respected prelate who had served 27 years in the Roman Curia. Cardinal Piacenza was appointed prefect of the Apostolic Penitentiary; Archbishop Morga became coadjutor archbishop of Mérida-Badajoz, Spain.

Sources say both of their departures were to avoid the congregation hindering bishops from acting in accordance with Francis’ vision.

(Hyperlink removed and emphasis supplied.)

We are a little disappointed because this reporting tells us, essentially, what we already knew. A bunch of Curial cardinals—including Cardinal Cañizares Llovera, who is not mentioned in Pentin’s piece—were reassigned, often into less prominent positions, ostensibly because they did not fit the tone of the Holy Father’s pontificate. Cardinal Burke is, of course, the most notable example of this process, being dismissed as prefect of the Apostolic Signatura and given essentially a sinecure position. (Of course, Cardinal Burke’s schedule has been freed up considerably to speak and write about issues affecting the Church, which he has done with great regularity.) And other officials of the Curia have found themselves sidelined; for example, Bishop Giuseppe Sciacca—a brilliant intellect, a fine administrator, and a friend of tradition—was transferred from post of secretary of the Governorate (where he succeeded Archbishop Viganò) to under-secretary of the Apostolic Signatura. Not quite a promotion, by any stretch of the imagination.

But this has been discussed at length for some time now.

What has been less well discussed, we think, is how the successors have been administering their dicasteries. For example, Cardinal Mamberti, the new prefect of the Apostolic Signatura, was a Vatican diplomat under John Paul II and Benedict XVI before being elevated to the Church’s sort-of supreme court. It would be interesting to get some analysis of how Cardinal Mamberti has transitioned into his new role at the Signatura and whether he has marked out any significant changes from the course Cardinal Burke set. Likewise, the new prefect for the Congregation for Clergy, Cardinal Beniamino Stella, is another career diplomat who has found himself swept up by the wind. (One could write an interesting article—we think—about how influential Sodano-era diplomats have wound up being in this pontificate.) You take our point.

Certainly, the general narrative has been that Francis has sacked conservatives and replaced them with moderates or liberals more sympathetic to his overarching program. But it seems to us that that narrative makes some assumptions about the appointments the Pope has made. And in some cases, those assumptions are easily justified. But in other cases, it seems to us that we are lacking enough information to say one way or the other what has happened. It will be interesting, then, to see if Pentin—or anyone else—follows up on this inquiry, examining the administrations of the “new men” in greater detail.

Exhortation “Amoris laetitia” to be released April 8

Today, the Vatican issued the following press release:

Accredited journalists are informed that on Friday 8 April 2016 at 11.30 a.m., in the Aula Giovanni Paolo II of the Holy See Press Office, a Press Conference will be held for the presentation of the post-synodal Apostolic Exhortation of the Holy Father Francis, “Amoris Laetitia”, on love in the family.

The panel will be composed of:

– Cardinal Lorenzo Baldisseri, general secretary of the Synod of Bishops;

– Cardinal Christoph Schönborn, O.P., archbishop of Vienna;

– The married couple Professor Francesco Miano, lecturer in moral philosophy at the University of Rome at Tor Vergata, and Professor Giuseppina De Simone in Miano, lecturer in philosophy at the Theological Faculty of Southern Italy in Naples.

A simultaneous translation service will be available in ItalianEnglish and Spanish.

* * *

The Press Conference can be seen via live streaming (audio-video) on the site: (Vatican Player, Vatican Radio) where it will subsequently remain available on demand.

* * *

The Apostolic Exhortation “Amoris laetitia” is to be considered under embargo until 12.00 p.m. on Friday, 8 April 2016.

The text of the Apostolic Exhortation in Italian, French, English, German, Spanish and Portuguese (in paper and/or digital format) will be available to accredited journalists from 8.00 a.m. on Friday 8 April 2016.


(Emphases in original.)

“The document’s key word is ‘integration.'”

At Rorate Caeli, there is a translation of a new article by Roberto de Mattei. It begins:

In this Holy Week of 2016, the sentiments and pain of Christ’s Passion being renewed is mingled with deep apprehension about the distressing situation the Church is in. The greatest worries regard the impending Apostolic Post-Synod Exhortation Pope Francis signed on March 19th and which will be published just after Easter. According to the Vatican journalist Luigi Accattoli “rumors foresee a text of no striking doctrinal or juridical affirmations, but rather will include many innovative practical choices regarding marriage preparation and couples in irregular situations: not only for the divorced and remarried but also for cohabiters, marriages with a believer and non-believer and for those only civilly-married.” (Corriere della Sera, March 20th 2016)

What will these “innovative practices” be? The document’s key word is “integration”. Those who are in an irregular situation will be “integrated” into the community: they could become catechists, liturgical animators, godparents for Baptism and Confirmation, best men/bridesmaids at weddings and so on; all activities the traditional praxis of the Church to this day has forbidden them owing to their state of public sin. Yet, Alberto Melloni writes in “La Repubblica”, March 19th “on Communion for the divorced and remarried no novelties are expected. Seeing as the problem is to legitimize a praxis (…), not establish it theologically”. The document does not anticipate a “general rule” of access to the Eucharist, but would allow confessors and individual bishops to permit admission to the Sacraments “case by case”. The novelty, Melloni explains, is based on facts not on words, “by giving responsibility and restoring effective powers to bishops, marking, as Cardinal Kasper said, a real “revolution”.

(Emphasis supplied.) Read the whole thing there.

Pentin assesses papal appointments three years in

We note, briefly, that Edward Pentin has, at the National Catholic Register, kicked off a three-part examination of the Holy Father’s various appointments. The first installment deals primarily with Francis’s diocesan appointments throughout the world. A brief selection:

Father Goyret thinks these choices are a consequence of placing at the center what the Pope considers overriding pastoral concerns, rather than safeguarding doctrine. The Pope, he believes, is “neither conservative nor progressive,” stressing he doesn’t like to use such labels for a pope. Nor is he “against traditional theology or doctrine,” he said. “He just skips these categories and wants pastoral and missionary bishops.”

After Benedict XVI paid close attention to sound doctrine, Francis is trying, at some risk, to “find a different way because he believes that evangelization has to change,” Father Goyret said. “He says we’ve been worried too much about sound doctrine, but that does not mean he goes against sound doctrine.”

But even if the Pope’s appointments may be doctrinally solid, the change of emphasis is having other consequences. A senior Church source in Italy told the Register on condition of anonymity that although recent appointments in the country have been “good parish priests,” they don’t have the “personal gravity to be bishop.”

He said many of the new Italian bishops are “great at the fatherly gestures, hugging, kissing babies, but they are not teachers of the faith, they’re not prepared for that.” He added that the bishop has to be “a strong and courageous pastor and be able to govern the Church,” and that failing to appoint those “willing to make hard decisions makes the flock ill provided for.”

(Emphasis supplied.) Read the whole thing there.

We will be following this series with interest, especially when Pentin turns his eye toward the Curial appointments.



Every day you see one more card

Tomorrow (today, depending on where you are when this is published), March 19, the Feast of St. Joseph, Spouse of the Blessed Virgin Mary and Patron of the Universal Church, it is widely anticipated that the Holy Father will sign his post-synodal exhortation. It is also widely anticipated that the Holy Father will issue it, if not tomorrow, then in very short order thereafter. It is extraordinary to see how quickly the Catholic blogosphere cycles through things; the Ordinary General Assembly and its Relatio have sort of faded from view, despite regular reports about the likely contents of the post-synodal exhortation. And Laudato si’ passed out of the conscience of Catholic bloggers pretty quickly, too, for that matter. Curious why that’s so.

We would be hugely happy to eat these words, but: whether it is the forum internum compromise brokered by Cardinal Marx in the Germanicus small group, which was ultimately where the final Relatio landed (after, it is alleged, another revolt on the floor by the orthodox bishops), or whether it is the stronger version long championed by Cardinal Kasper, it seems fairly likely that some form of a penitential path to communion for bigamists is in the cards. (Though St. Joseph is a powerful intercessor, it must be noted, and this alone gives us some cause for hope.) This will undoubtedly cause a reaction.

Joseph Shaw, chairman of the Latin Mass Society, has a fairly lengthy, very balanced essay about how to approach the Holy Father’s post-synodal exhortation. A brief preview:

What is significant about a document from Rome is what it changes, not what it says. This is an exegetical principle of the late Michael Davies: when reading a new document, ask What does it allow which was not previously allowed? What does it forbid which was not previously forbidden? The rest is padding. The truth of this principle becomes clear with the assistance of hindsight. What is significant about Paul VI’s Memoriale Domini is that it allowed Communion in the Hand: it is irrelevant that nine tenths of the thing is hymn of praise for Communion on the Tongue, and that it actually says that the existing rules aren’t being changed. That 90% of the document is inert, like the polystyrene padding in a parcel. In exactly the same way, what is significant about Summorum Pontificum is that the Traditional Mass is allowed without permission from bishops. The rhetorical concessions to liberals unhappy about this, slipped in here and there, are of no significance. Getting worked up about them is a complete waste of time.

This is the most important lesson of all. When the document comes out, there will be something for everyone. Neo-conservative bloggers will fill pages with quotations from it about the importance and indissolubility of marriage: guaranteed. Liberal journalists will fill pages of the dead-wood media with quotations from it about the importance of mercy: no question about it. Neither makes any difference. It will all be forgotten within the year. This kind of material can be read in line with any number of different views about what, in practise, should happen to the divorced and remarried. The only thing which is important in the document is what it changes, the bits where the Pope uses his legislative authority to make a concrete difference. There are currently clear rules in Canon Law about the rights and obligations of Catholics living in a public state of sin, and of priests ministering to them. These rules can be changed in a number of different ways. Again, rules and principles of confessional practise can be changed, and rules about who can be a godparent – what it means to be a public sinner – and so on.

(Emphasis in red supplied.) We encourage you to read the whole thing there.

Cardinal Müller takes a definite stance on the Kasper proposal

Maike Hickson has a guest article at Rorate Caeli regarding Gerhard Ludwig Cardinal Müller’s stance on the question of communion for bigamists. You may recall that the Germanicus small group’s proposal—essentially the old forum internum solution—had been offered as a compromise to the Synod. The argument, as we understood it, was that, since the Germanicus report was unanimous, Cardinal Müller and Cardinal Kasper had to agree about the viability of the forum internum solution. (Reinhard Cardinal Marx, Ratzinger’s successor in Munich and Freising, was hailed for brokering such a compromise.) Some questions had arisen, therefore, about what Cardinal Müller actually thought about communion for bigamists. Not much, it turns out. In the last couple of days, press reports have come out showing Cardinal Müller taking a strong line against communion under the Kasperite proposal. (We won’t quote from the article, but will instead encourage you to read it at Rorate.)

We wonder what this exhortation is going to look like on March 19 or whenever it is finally issued. We have heard much about a forty-some-page memorandum from the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. We have heard much, also, about multiple drafts whizzing back and forth. And we have heard a little bit about Archbishop “Tucho” Fernandez, who seems to have the Holy Father’s ear on these matters. But we read for ourselves the Holy Father’s comments on the plane ride back from Mexico on the question, which sounded a little different than usual.

Blink and you’ll miss it: Pope says post-Synodal exhortation may be released before Easter

Catholics are abuzz with the suggestion that the Holy Father approved in some manner contraceptive use in the context of South America’s Zika virus crisis during his in-flight press conference on the trip back to Rome. As you might imagine, the interpretations of his less-than-clear statements have broken down on predictable fault lines. Likewise, there has been much discussion of his statements about Donald Trump’s proposal to build a wall. And the interpretations of these statements have broken down on predictable fault lines. (For our part, we recommend that traditionally minded Catholics take a minute and read Pius XII’s Exsul Familia and La solennità della Pentecoste before posting or retweeting pictures of the Vatican’s walls.) But this press conference is interesting for other reasons.

Catholic News Service has prepared and released a full-text English version of the Pope’s airplane interview. In that interview there were several exchanges that touch, we think, upon the bigger question—the Holy Father’s forthcoming post-Synodal exhortation. The first exchange, with American reporter Anne Thompson, gives some tentative papal confirmation to the suggestion that the Holy Father’s post-Synodal exhortation will be handed down before Easter. (We had heard March 19, which is the feast of St. Joseph, Spouse of the Blessed Virgin Mary, which is also Saturday before Palm Sunday in the Ordinary Form this year.) The entire exchange is very interesting and worth reading carefully:

Anne Thompson, NBC (USA): Some wonder how a Church that claims to be merciful, how can the Church forgive a murderer easier than someone who has divorced and remarried?

Pope Francis: I like this question! On the family, two synods have spoken. The Pope has spoken on this all year in the Wednesday Catechisms. The question is true, you posed it very well. In the post-synod document that will be published, perhaps before Easter – it picks up on everything the synod – in one of the chapters, because it has many – it spoke about the conflicts, wounded families and the pastoral (care) of wounded families. It is one of the concerns. As another is the preparation for marriage. Imagine, to become a priest there are eight years of study and preparation, and then if after a while you can’t do it, you can ask for a dispensation, you leave, and everything is OK. On the other hand, to make a sacrament (marriage), which is for your whole life, three to four conferences…Preparation for marriage is very important. It’s very, very important because I believe it is something that in the Church, in common pastoral ministry, at least in my country, in South America, the Church has not valued much.


Another interesting thing from the meeting with families in Tuxtla. There was a couple, married again in second union integrated in the pastoral ministry of the Church. The key phrase used by the synod, which I’ll take up again, is ‘integrate’ in the life of the Church the wounded families, remarried families, etcetera. But of this one mustn’t forget the children in the middle. They are the first victims, both in the wounds, and in the conditions of poverty, of work, etcetera.

Thompson: Does that mean they can receive Communion?

Pope Francis: This is the last thing. Integrating in the Church doesn’t mean receiving communion. I know married Catholics in a second union who go to church, who go to church once or twice a year and say I want communion, as if joining in Communion were an award. It’s a work towards integration, all doors are open, but we cannot say, ‘from here on they can have communion.’ This would be an injury also to marriage, to the couple, because it wouldn’t allow them to proceed on this path of integration. And those two were happy. They used a very beautiful expression: we don’t receive Eucharistic communion, but we receive communion when we visit hospitals and in this and this and this. Their integration is that. If there is something more, the Lord will tell them, but it’s a path, a road.

(Some emphasis supplied and text omitted.)

The second exchange was with Italian reporter Franca Giansoldati and dealt most directly with Italy’s upcoming parliamentary vote on same-sex unions:

Franca Giansoldati, Il Messaggero (Italy): Holiness, good evening. I return back to the topic of the law that is being voted on in the Italian parliament. It is a law that in some ways is about other countries, because other countries have laws about unions among people of the same sex. There is a document from the Congregation for the Doctrine for the Faith from 2003 that dedicates a lot of attention to this, and even more, dedicates a chapter to the position of Catholic parliamentarians in parliament before this question. It says expressly that Catholic parliamentarians must not vote for these laws. Considering that there is much confusion on this, I wanted to ask, first of all, is this document of 2003 still in effect? And what is the position a Catholic parliamentarian must take? And then another thing, after Moscow, Cairo. Is there another thawing out on the horizon? I’m referring to the audience that you wish for with the Pope and the Sunnis, let’s call them that way, the Imam of Al Azhar.

Pope Francis: For this, Msgr. Ayuso went to Cairo last week to meet the second to the Imam and to greet the Imam. Msgr. Ayuso, secretary to Cardinal Tauran of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue. I want to meet him. I know that he would like it. We are looking for the way, always through Cardinal Tauran because it is the path, but we will achieve it.

About the other, I do not remember that 2003 document from the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith well but every Catholic parliamentarian must vote according their well-formed conscience. I would say just this. I believe it is sufficient because – I say well-formed because it is not the conscience of ‘what seems to me.’ I remember when matrimony for persons of the same sex was voted on in Buenos Aires and the votes were tied. And at the end, one said to advise the other: ‘But is it clear to you? No, me neither, but we’re going to lose like this. But if we don’t go there won’t be a quorum.’ The other said: ‘If we have a quorum we will give the vote to Kirchner.’ And, the other said: ‘I prefer to give it to Kirchner and not Bergoglio.’ And they went ahead. This is not a well formed conscience.

On people of the same sex, I repeat what I said on the trip to Rio di Janeiro. It’s in the Catechism of the Catholic Church.

(Emphasis supplied.) The question of conscience—and what constitutes a well-formed conscience—has been bubbling around the edges of the Synod debate, particularly through the statements of Chicago Archbishop Blase Cupich. We find it interesting to see the Holy Father drawing a clear line through the concept that a well-formed conscience is the conscience of “what seems to me.” While this is not necessarily related to the question of the Synod and his exhortation, it seems to us that it is a window into how the Holy Father approaches these issues.

Everything stays down where it’s wounded

The Holy Father today (yesterday?) in Rome gave a brief catechesis at his general audience on the subject of mercy and justice. It is in Italian, but excerpts have been translated by the VIS. (You can obtain a machine translation of the whole thing from the usual sources.) One bit in particular might catch the attention of those who like to read tea leaves:

The Bible, he explained, proposes a different form of justice, in which the victim invites the guilty party to convert, helping him to understand the harm he has done and appealing to his conscience. “In this way, recognising his blame, he can open up to the forgiveness that the injured party offers. … This is the way of resolving conflicts within families, in relations between spouses and between parents and children, in which the injured party loves the guilty and does not wish to lose the bond between them. It is certainly a difficult path: it demands that the victim be disposed to forgive and wishes for the salvation and the good of the perpetrator of the damage. But only in this way can justice triumph, as if the guilty party acknowledges the harm he has done and ceases to do so, the evil no longer exists and the unjust becomes just, as he has been forgiven and helped to find the way of good“.

“God treats us sinners, in the same way. He continually offers us His forgiveness, He helps us to welcome Him and to be aware of our evil so as to free ourselves of it. God does not seek our condemnation, only our salvation. God does not wish to condemn anyone! … The Lord of Mercy wishes to save everyone. … The problem is letting Him enter into our heart. All the words of the prophets are an impassioned and love-filled plea for our conversion”.

(Emphasis supplied.)

Guarding fumes and making haste

Word has made it out that Archbishop “Tucho” Fernandez, the Holy Father’s favorite theologian (a sobriquet that must break Archbishop Bruno Forte’s heart), is the principal author of the forthcoming post-Synodal exhortation, which will be released, probably, before the end of March. Edward Pentin reports:

Well informed sources have told the Register that the document, which observers believe will probably be released on March 19 — the feast of St. Joseph and the 3rd anniversary of the Pope’s inauguration Mass — is in its third draft. They also say that the chief drafter is Archbishop Victor Manuel Fernández, rector of the the Pontifical Catholic University of Argentina in Buenos Aires and one of Pope Francis’ closest advisers.

One reliably informed source, a recognized moral theologian who has seen the draft, said he was “deeply disturbed” by the text as it “calls into question the natural moral law”. A senior Vatican official said he had heard the draft was good, but that was “some time ago”. He said he expects it to be similar to the Ordinary Synod’s final report, almost all of which the synod fathers passed unanimously.


Earlier this week, Vatican analyst Andrea Gagliarducci reported that the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith has studied the draft and sent a long note with several doctrinal remarks, rumored to be 40 pages in length.

A senior Vatican source told the Register last week that the CDF has offered “all kinds of observations” on other documents as well during this pontificate, “but none of them are ever taken.” The dicastery, like much of the Roman Curia, is largely left out of such processes and is considered to be “isolated”, according to sources.

(Emphasis supplied and hyperlink omitted.) We note that the controversial paragraphs regarding the Germanicus group’s forum internum proposal (the great compromise between Cardinal Müller and Cardinal Kasper, brokered, allegedly, by Cardinal Marx) did not pass unanimously. Not even close. In fact, but for the Holy Father’s personal appointments to the Synod, they probably would not have passed at all.

The only not-disturbing thing we see is that Archbishop Fernández, who has long been a close adviser and collaborator with the Holy Father, also is supposed to have drafted Laudato si’, which, in the main, is a wonderful document. Not perfect. But still very good. That said, we expect the bigamists to be lined up at Easter Vigil this year, exhortation in hand, demanding to approach the Precious Body and Blood of Our Lord. There has been too much grief over the Kasperite proposal not to go through with some form of it. To have this much trouble and say “oh, well, you fellows are right, I guess” would be almost unthinkable. (Though not impossible: Our Lady and St. Joseph may yet intervene.)

But, for the sake of those men and women who will take a papal pronouncement as a guarantee, we hope that the Holy Father and Tucho guess right.